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Looking for a few specific Stone and a Hard Place ideas. Spoilers.

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  • Looking for a few specific Stone and a Hard Place ideas. Spoilers.

    I'm running my posse through Stone and a Hard Place and thought I'd seek some wisdom from others.

    We are about 9 sessions in and the posse just left Tombstone soon after the second Plot Point. One PC (the mad scientist) has personal motivation to get out to California because he is chasing another scientist in whom he has a romantic interest but who stole his prototype super Epitaph Camera and headed for Progress, California. The others are keen to help him. The posse saved Padre Ernesto de Diaz's life in Mexico and the padre was living in Tombstone for a bit, so I had the padre tell them about the Prospector. They are now in Potential, Arizona and headed to Dead End.

    Question 1: Ideas for delaying the posse learning of the bullets of betrayal?

    I don't want them to barrel along the plot points yet and they are only Seasoned. And I know that they will enjoy following up on some personal stories that are compelling them westward. Therefore, I thought I'd have the Prospector tell them a bit about Stone, but not know about the bullets of betrayal. Coot might say "hm, I don't think that SOB /can/ be stopped." Perhaps then Coot gets back in touch with them later after conferring with Andrew Lane or something like that. Any ideas? The Apache shaman PC is on "Death's Path" according to her people (as a consequence of some personal choices) and is also the Harkness descendent although she does not know that of course (her mother was Texan from coastal town captured in a Comanche raid). So I have been able to convey some of Jasper Stone's backstory through disturbing dreams she is having. Coot might be able to help her make sense of her dreams.

    Question 2: Ideas for a tattoo artist who can make tattoos that allow communication with the dead?

    The mad scientist PC is obsessed with speaking with his dead wife. In his backstory he mentioned that he has heard of some tattoo artist out west (I'd think Shan Fan, Portland or Seattle) who can create tattoos: "I've heard stories that he possess the ability to imbibe his tattoos with magic such that the 'owner' has the ability to converse with the person in the tattoo regardless if the person is dead or alive." I'm still figuring out how to make something interesting out of this idea and have it lead somewhere. If any of you have some inspiration, I'm keen to hear. I may not have to use this since he is pretty invested in the other personal story involving the competing scientist who sweet talked him and stole his invention.

    That's all. Just thought I'd throw stuff out because sometimes y'all think of great things.

  • #2
    Neat! I hope it goes well.

    Personally, I really like #2, but as a mystical trap. There are a lot of things in the Hunting Grounds that would happily turn hope into despair by pretending to be the person in the tattoo - a low cost effort to spread fear, pain, and misery in the world.
    Maybe the spirit could focus on causing "bad" decisions, or depressing the scientist, or whatever makes sense with the specific player and character.
    Note that the tattoos should not work as advertised - if nothing else, Hellstromme would have kidnapped and studied the artist's work if such communication was actually possible.

    #1, I'd have Coot express his boundless optimism, even if he doesn't have a plan yet. This is a guy that looked at the Reckoning and said, "I'm gonna fix it". He doesn't believe in unstoppable foes, unwinnable scenarios, or unbeatable monsters. He may say, "Still haven't sussed that bastard's weakness, but we'll find it in time," or something similar - there is a solution and Coot will find it; believing that is fundamental to who The Prospector is.
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.


    • #3
      Thanks so much. That is a good point about Coot's optimism -- I'll keep that in mind. Yes, on #2 I was thinking it should not be possible and should be a trap. Good idea to have it seem to work but give bad advice.


      • #4
        One option might be for coot to clue the posse into the fact that Stone MUST have a weakness, that no one gains that kind of powers from evil without a catch. Have him send them at other abominations with weaknesses that reflect their past ,and hopefully the posse with realize that to find Stone's weakness, they have to delve into his past. THEN Coot or someone else can give slightly heavier clues towards the bullets, or at least Gettysburg.

        I would say it wouldnt be remiss for the posse not to find out about the bullets until the Agency picks them up in Pennsylvania


        • #5
          Thought I'd say thanks again and update this since this campaign is still going and the characters are all just legendary as of last game (this campaign has been interrupted many times for other diversions such as ETU, pirates, etc).

          I had them meet Coot early but he pointed them out to Explorers Society folks on the west coast who might know more. Meanwhile they had solved a few Sasquatch related issues up in the Northwest and picked up a new posse member (new player playing Meriwether Anderson). But an Agency spy caught wind of this eventually and set them into delivering themselves right to the Agency for the interrogation. They've hung out with Coot quite a bit now and really like him. Most recently, in Massacre Cave, they were in a touch of trouble when he yelled "Duck, youngsters" and opened up with his gatling shotgun over their heads.

          So the scientist got his tattoo out in Portland and it did cause trouble. Finally at Diablo Crater, things came to a head and our harrowed Apache cut off his arm and told him she was doing him a favor. She was, and now he has a nice mechanical arm.

          Overall, I've found SAAHP a bit more work to adapt to my group than I did the Flood. But they are all pretty invested and enjoying it. We've built a ton of great stories from it.

          Thanks all.